Cashewnut, coconut in focus at Goa festival
Posted on May 07 2014 | IANS
Panaji, May 7 : Cashewnuts and coconuts, which can be credited with shaping Goa's culinary as well as social identity, are finally getting their due.
In its bid to promote the two food items, the state tourism department will host May 21-25 what is being touted as one of India's biggest coconut and cashew festival, which is being positioned as an "ode" to the two Goan essentials.
"Coconut and cashewnut are an integral part of life in Goa. Right from their use in food and drinks to their contribution to the local economy, these two products have created a very lasting impression on Goan culture and lifestyle," says a statement from the tourism department.
"This festival, which is being organised for the first time, will focus on the role coconut and cashewnut play in Goa."
The event will feature a wide range of activities like cookery shows, cocktail demonstrations using feni, music concerts and stalls featuring handicraft and artifacts made using coconut shells and other by-products.
Apart from their more rudimentary uses, Goans have traditionally tapped both the coconut and cashew crop for manufacturing feni, a potent alcoholic brew unique to the state, and is made from either cashew juice or from coconut sap.
Feni is also expected to take the spotlight during the festival.
There will be a demonstration of the feni distillation process, which will give visitors a peek into the making of the beverage. Guests will also be able to enjoy some feni cocktails during the event.
Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said the event could be an annual feature on the tourism itinerary.
"Coconut and cashew nut are very important for every Goan. We want to showcase its multiple uses to the world. This is the first time we are organising this event and are expecting tourists in large numbers. We are optimistic that it will be a huge success and will turn into an annual event," he said.